The Performing Arts Division recently combined its many talents to mark the 75th anniversary of a remarkable event in the history of broadcast radio. With stage direction by theater department chair Bill Kershner, students, faculty and staff performed a dramatic reading of “The War of the Worlds,” Orson Welles’ 1938 radio adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel by the same name.
Welles’ original program was so convincing that listeners who tuned in too late for the opening credits thought they were hearing actual news reports of Martians attacking the United States. Widespread panic ensued.
To heighten the drama, the readers were joined on the Murchison Lane Auditorium stage by the entire Sweet Briar Orchestra directed by Jeff Jones. Jones composed a 26-movement piece for the production, in addition to arranging several period pieces.